Here are 9 great reasons why we should brush twice a day, have regular check-ups and take extra special care of their dentures and natural teeth:
- Heart Disease
Did you know that research has shown a connection between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease? By implementing a routine and strict oral hygiene regime, our elderly can protect themselves against the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other heart disease conditions. Sadly, it has been confirmed by the American Academy of Periodontology, that patients with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery or heart disease. Be on the lookout for common problems in the mouth like gum disease (gingivitis), cavities and missing teeth as these could be possible signs of a heart-related condition.
Similarly, pneumonia has also been linked to subpar oral hygiene in senior citizens. Because the aged breath in bacteria-filled droplets from their mouth into their lungs, they are more prone to pneumonia. The greatest weapon against this condition is through a solid and unwavering oral hygiene routine. This point should be emphasised in frail-care facilities, nursing homes and caregiving accommodation where older folks may be unable to care for their teeth on their own and rather rely on others.
The dreaded sugar disease. The severest form of gum disease, also known as periodontitis, does not allow the body to use its insulin. Subsequent high blood sugar therefore leads to gum infection – a condition which could be prevented merely by adhering to simple, but routine, oral care and having the dentist visit, regularly.
- Darkened Teeth
The food we eat and the drinks we consume affects the dentin (the bone-like tissue underneath our tooth enamel) as we get older. This is visible by stains and a thinner outer layer of enamel that appears yellow. This change in the dentin content of our teeth creates darkened teeth that look dirty and stained.
- Gum Disease
A variety of factors contribute to gum disease, including smoking, poor diet, badly fitted bridges and dentures, and even diseases like anaemia, cancer and diabetes. Gum disease occurs when there is a build-up of plaque and food debris left in our teeth and not cleaned or flushed out. If not treated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and has monumental consequences for our overall health in the body.
- Dry Mouth
Many medicines and treatments for cancer whereby radiation is used for the neck and head, may lead to a very dry mouth. Saliva protects our teeth from decaying by keeping the inside of the mouth moist and lubricated. It also prevents infection and keeps away fungi, bacteria and viruses so dry mouth in our elderly needs to be attended to immediately.
- Root Decay
Another common problem in our elderly, roots are exposed due to high acid levels in the patient from food. When these roots are exposed, the gum tissue recedes from the tooth and because it has no protection from the enamel, it will begin to decay.
- Uneven Jawbone
If our older patients loose teeth and they are not replaced as soon as possible, the surrounding teeth will begin to move and drift into the vacant space. This shift results in an uneven jawbone which could result in a strange appearance, but more importantly, serious bite issues that will need to be rectified with a device or possibly surgery.
- Denture-Induced Stomatitis
If dentures are not fitted correctly or if our elderly do not uphold peak dental sanitation, fungus Candida albicans is bound to occur. This condition, also known as oral thrush, is a build-up of inflammation of the tissue sitting underneath the denture and can be extremely uncomfortable for our loved ones. ones.
At Gold Coast Mobile Dental, we understand that ageing is not always easy and sometimes help in the form of another pair of hands. We also understand that getting to a dental practice is not always possibly and can be more of an inconvenience than worth the effort. Wanting to assist the elderly and home-bound wherever we can, we have a tech-filled van and a team of travelling experts who will happily come to you.
Ageing shouldn’t be a struggle and maintaining a great standard of oral hygiene shouldn’t be either. The Gold Coast Mobile Dental team want to help our seniors through their golden years and be here when they need us the most. We make senior dental care our top priority so if you are in need of dental assistance or even a general check-up.